Research Summary

Helping and Learning at Work

by Teresa M. Amabile


I have two related sets of projects in this stream: (a) Collaboration and helping in creative project teams. Colin Fisher (BU), Julianna Pillemer (Wharton), and I conducted a multi-year study of successful and unsuccessful helping episodes inside a creative design firm. The paper reporting this study is currently under invited revision for Administrative Science Quarterly. In 2014, we published an HBR article on this topic. (b) With doctoral student Michele Rigolizzo, I have a forthcoming book chapter on entrepreneurship, creativity, and learning at work. We have completed one study in a European bank on the effect of recording day-by-day learnings at work on the propensity to notice additional learning opportunities, and we will soon launch a larger-scale field experiment on the topic. We have also completed an interview study of learning that results from a mini-sabbatical program for scientific/technical personnel in a major pharmaceutical firm.